KJAN Ag/Outdoor

From County extension to conservation to grain prices, we provide lots of information every day on KJAN.  Here is some of that information on the web too!  We hope you find it useful.

Danish farmer tours Iowa hog operations


January 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A Danish hog farmer toured several Iowa operations and attended the Practical Farmers of Iowa conference this past weekend as part of a campaign to cut the use of antibiotics in the raising of livestock. The tour was sponsored by the Pew Charitable Trusts. Pew spokesperson Gail Hansen, says 29-million pounds of antibiotics are given to food animals, while seven million pounds are given to people who’re sick. “So about 80-percent of the antibiotics are given to food animals, and a lot of that is just for growth promotion, or to prevent diseases but not to treat diseases. So we’re trying to look at other ways to be better stewards of our antibiotics,” Hansen says. That’s where Kaj Munck  comes in. Munck stopped using antibiotics to promote growth and prevent diseases in his hog operation in 1992. Munck says there were a few adjustments at first, but now his operation runs with few problems. He says producers will have to get used to some adjustments.

Munck says on paper it will cost you more, but he says that is offset by results as the hogs produce bigger piglets and there are more live-born pigs. “Instead of 12 per liter, now we get 16 per liter, because the sow is better prepared to be pregnant again,” Munck says. Hansen says the F-D-A has recently taken action to restrict some of the antibiotic use in animals. She says they are hoping Munck’s example will allow producers to see it can be successfully done.

(Dar Danielson/Radio Iowa)

Clarinda man pleads guilty to trespassing while hunting charge

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources said Friday, that a Clarinda man pleaded guilty to trespassing while hunting deer north of Hepburn, in Page County, on December 17th, 2011.  Officials say while 29-year old Donald E. Runyon entered his guilty plea in court on January 4th, and paid nearly $400 in fines and court costs, he faced additional charges uncovered during the trespassing investigation. Runyon was charged last Monday, with two felony counts of being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm. He was taken into custody and has since been released on a $5,000 cash bond.

The DNR says Runyon had been convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence and based on that conviction was prohibited from possessing firearms. A court date has not been set.  The investigation into his alleged activities was conducted by officers from Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Iowa State Patrol, Page County Sheriff’s Office, Clarinda Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

IA FSA Schedules Public Meetings on proposed office consolidation plans

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 12th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

(Des Moines, Iowa)  January 12, 2012: USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) today announced that John R. Whitaker, State Executive Director for Iowa FSA and members of his management team have scheduled public meetings in the following counties at the dates and locations specified below:

Appanoose County on January 31st at 1:00 pm at the Faith United Methodist Church of Centerville in Centerville, Iowa.

Decatur County on February 1st at 1:00 pm in the Pioneer Hall Building on the Decatur County Fairgrounds in Leon, Iowa.

Union County on February 2nd, at 1:00 pm in Instructional Center Room #220 on the Southwest Community College Campus in Creston, Iowa.

FSA’s public meeting will be the only one held to take public comment on USDA’s proposed office consolidation plan in which the Appanoose, Decatur, and Union County FSA office are being considered for consolidation. Producers can also provide written comment by emailing dennis.olson@ia.usda.gov or sending written comment to John R. Whitaker, State Executive Director, Iowa State FSA Office, 10500 Buena Vista Court, Des Moines, Iowa 50322 no later than Thursday, February 9, 2012.

All public comments will be taken into full consideration prior to development or implementation of a final consolidation plan. For more information, contact Iowa Farm Service Agency at 515-254-1540.

Iowa’s 2011 corn harvest up from 2010


January 12th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A U.S. Department of Agriculture report shows Iowa once again led the nation in corn production last year with a harvest of 172 bushels per acre. The USDA pegs Iowa’s final corn yield at 2.356 billion bushels, an increase over 2010, but down from the record 2.42 billion bushels harvested in 2009. The 172 bushels per acre figure tops the 2010 harvest of 165 bushels per acre. Nationally, the USDA has set the yield at 147.2 bushels per acre, which is 5.6 bushels below the 2010 harvest. Iowa’s soybean harvest for 2011 was 50.5 bushels per acre, down slightly from 51 bushels per acre in 2010.



Corn estimate holds steady, low supply expected


January 12th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Government estimates for next fall’s corn supply held steady Thursday, a factor that should keep food prices high in the new year.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates there will be 846 million bushels of corn on hand at the end of the summer. The forecast was mostly unchanged from last month’s estimate.  The surplus would satisfy demand for less than 25 days. A 30-day supply is considered healthy.  A low supply of corn pushed food prices higher last year because corn is a key ingredient in everything from soda to cereal to animal feed.   Still, corn futures fell 40 cents a bushel in morning trading, the maximum allowed by trading boards. That’s because traders were expecting a decline in the monthly estimate.

USDA Report 01-12-2012

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

January 12th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Max Dirks


Cass Supervisors receive Conservation Director’s update

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors today (Wednesday), received a quarterly update from County Conservation Director Micah Lee. Lee said the weather has really cooperated, and allowed the Conservation Department staff to conduct a lot of tree and shrub, and other necessary cleanup work at the various county parks and recreational areas.

He said also, their Environmental Education Naturalist, Lora Schwendinger, has been busy during the past quarter. Lee says she’s put on 96 programs and visited with 785 persons, from elementary-aged students, to senior citizens. Schwendinger has coordinated several workshops and events designed to educate the public about nature and the environment.

Cass County Extension Report 01-11-2012

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

January 11th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olsen


Iowa lawmakers likely to revisit lead shot / dove hunting issue

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

January 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Legislators are likely to engage in a spirited debate over what kind of bullets may be fired at doves. Last year, in uncharacteristically speedy fashion, lawmakers voted to legalize dove hunting in Iowa. But Senator Dick Dearden of Des Moines and others are upset with the Iowa Natural Resources Commission’s decision to forbid hunters from using lead shot when firing at doves. “People talk about the legislature sneaking this (law) through and the reality is they snuck through that (restriction),” Dearden says. “They came through at the last minute and made the rule.” The rule requires the use of steel shot for dove hunting, but a resolution that would nullify that rule is pending in both the Iowa House and the Iowa Senate. Representative Henry Rayhons, of Garner, stopped by a local gun shop last week and heard lots of complaints about steel shot.

“It’s not as accurate,” Rayhons says. “It’s harder on the guns and it’s darned near twice as expensive.” Critics say animals, like ducks and eagles, die after eating the lead shot lying on the ground that didn’t wind up in a bird. Dearden, a life-long hunter, accuses those opponents of using the lead-shot issue as a smoke-screen to try to derail the entire dove hunting law. “It’s all about doves,” Dearden says. “It has nothing to do with eagles or anything else.” Dearden says he got plenty of hate mail after spearheading passage of the dove hunting law last year.

“My favorite was a woman who said: ‘You’re a sick old man. I hope you die while hunting mourning doves,’” Dearden says. “I emailed her back and said: ‘So do I.’” Critics of lead shot say it’s a danger to humans, too, who eat bird meat that’s riddled with lead fragments. One study suggested lead particles have been found up to a foot and a half away, causing a greater risk of lead poisoning to humans than previously thought.

(O. Kay Henderson/Radio Iowa)

Vilsack addresses concerns of USDA office closings, including 1 on SW IA

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack is addressing concerns about his agency’s plan to close 259 U-S-D-A offices, labs and other facilities. Vilsack, a former Iowa governor, told reporters in a teleconference Tuesday, that the closures are in response to Congressional budget cuts. The goal is to trim USDA expenses by $150 million a year. Vilsack said the plan involves $90 million in savings through reduced travel and supplies. The office and lab closures would account for the remaining $60 million in savings. Vilsack does not anticipate widespread layoffs as nearly 7,000 USDA employees took early retirement last year and many workers will be given the opportunity to transfer to other offices. Critics of the plan have raised concerns about the possible effect on food safety.

“I want to be very clear about this – the office closings we announced in the food safety area are about administrative personnel. They are not about inspectors,” Vilsack said. “We did not deal with the inspector issue at all. We’re still going to be in every single plant. The inspectors will continue to do the work that they’re doing in those plants and it will have no impact whatsoever on our responsibility to ensure the safety of the food supply in the United States.” In Iowa, the so-called “Blueprint for Stronger Service” would close three Farm Service Agency offices in Appanoose, Decatur and Union Counties. In addition, a Natural Resource Conservation Service office in Jefferson County would be shut down. Vilsack said public hearings will be held within 90 days in the counties where offices are to be closed.

(Pat Curtis/Radio Iowa)